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NRF Expresses Strong Support for Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephen E. Schatz (202) 626-8119

NRF Expresses Strong Support for Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act
- French says bill would reaffirm and reinstate a level of fairness and balance -

WASHINGTON, October 26, 2011 - The National Retail Federation expressed strong support for legislation scheduled for a committee vote today that is intended to protect the balance of power between employers and employees during the labor organizing process. To underscore its full support of the bill, NRF sent a letter to the committee Chairman calling on the House of Representatives to move the bill forward.

"Today Congress is working to protect American jobs and economic growth by upholding long-settled precedents in union organizing," said NRF Senior Vice President David French. "This bill counters the radical moves made by the National Labor Relations Board and re-affirms a level of fairness and balance among unions and employers."

The House Education and Workforce Committee is scheduled to vote today on H.R. 3094, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, sponsored by committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minn. The measure would restore traditional labor organizing practices and protections that would be significantly altered in a series of proposals and rulings made this summer by the National Labor Relations Board. Specifically, NLRB proposed shortening the time-frame for union elections, redefined the meaning of a bargaining unit, and took steps that could ultimately limit employees' privacy protections and restrict the information employees receive from employers.

"NLRB's action over the past year subvert over 50 years of established case law,” French said. “Three un-elected board members are enacting changes in public policy that organized labor could not achieve in the open, democratic process on Capitol Hill. By countering NLRB, Congress is standing up for employees and employers, and helping to reinstate settled union organizing practices.”

In addition to today’s NRF letter to the committee, NRF’s National Council of Chain Restaurants division also sent a letter in support of H.R. 3094.

As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation. www.nrf.com